New Royal Navy laser weapon slated for 2027 installation on warship

Rendering of a DragonFire laser weapon being fired from a Royal Navy warship
Photo: Royal Navy

The UK Royal Navy has confirmed that a new type of laser weapon under development will be installed on one of the service’s warships in 2027.

The DragonFire laser weapon will be added to the Royal Navy’s array of air defence weaponry, which includes the Sea Viper and Sea Ceptor missile systems that were recently proven in combat operations in the Red Sea.

The navy said a burst of high-intensity laser energy fired by the DragonFire system can engage targets such as drones, missiles, and aircraft at the speed of light.

The laser has been under development for nearly a decade and underwent tests by government scientists on the UK Ministry of Defence’s ranges in the Hebrides at the start of this year. Plans have now been brought forward five years from 2032 to install the system on a Royal Navy ship under new procurement rules that were introduced this week.

DragonFire has been developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory on behalf of the MOD and with the cooperation of industry partners MBDA, Leonardo, and QinetiQ.

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